I get hundreds of e-mails a week, and the majority of them are asking, “How can I get an athletic scholarship?” I am happy to answer these e-mails and give my advice on what these athletes or parents can do, but I know 95 percent of the people I respond to do nothing with the information. Most people are looking for the one answer, the secret that will unlock the scholarship mystery. There isn’t only one thing that is going to get you a scholarship.
The recruiting process is like a Swiss army knife, not a magic bullet. It’s taking a committed long-term approach to developing your academics, athletics, character, and contacting coaches. Dave McKenna recently wrote an article where he detailed how one charter school football team in Washington DC is getting 19 kids from their team scholarships. This story is one of the best examples of how to get recruited I’ve seen in a long time. Here are the lessons you can learn from Coach Rahim and the Friendship Academy.
Academics – Coach Rahim says the most important factor in getting his athletes scholarships is their academics. The charter school they are at has one of the highest expulsion rates in the country. If you slip on academics, you are out. They aren’t asking for just the minimum 2.0 GPA; they expect As and Bs. Their kids get as many scholarships as they do because almost every kid has the grades to go to almost any school they want.
If you are only shooting for the minimum in eligibility, you aren’t even going to qualify for 75 percent or more of the universities across the country
Character – Coach Rahim started coaching for one basic reason: “To get kids to go to college and get college degrees.” You may think the focus of such a powerhouse football program is turning out the best athletes, but that comes second to every player wanting to get a college degree. Coaches know that recruits from the Friendship Academy are committed to getting a college degree—that type of character makes them a highly valued recruit.
More doors will be opened for you if truly want to get a degree, not just play college football
Contact coaches – The players at Friendship Academy are lucky to have Coach Rahim who is so willing to go the extra mile for them in recruiting. Most coaches don’t have the ability to do everything their athletes need in recruiting. Coach Rahim says, “Only about 20 percent of what I do is coaching football.” That means he is spending 80 percent of his time on promoting players and checking on their academics. He is putting together film and sending out players’ resumes and business cards to coaches.
You need to commit now to contacting coaches and getting your information out to college programs. There are simply no shortcuts here. Spending a couple hours each week looking up programs and sending personal e-mails with your resume will pay enormous dividends come signing day.
Athletics – You have to be really good at your sport to play in college and get a scholarship, but don’t overvalue your athleticism. Like Coach Rahim says, he doesn’t have to work hard to get his blue-chip recruits recruited. If you have elite size and athleticism, coaches will find you. If you are in the majority of other high school athletes with average size, you are going to need to show a commitment to improving to catch a coach’s eye. There are guys getting recruited from the Friendship Academy who aren’t even starting on their high school team; you can rest assured they aren’t getting recruited because of their 40 time—it takes more than that.
You have to commit to being the best athlete you can, but don’t assume that is what is going to get you a scholarship. The college ranks are full of slightly-better-than-average athletes with elite character and a commitment to academics.
If you have questions and need help getting recruited, please contact me. I know the majority of people who read this won’t do anything to get recruited—don’t let that be you. Contact us today, and we can help you set up a game plan to get recruited.